ACTION DESK: New media but same old story

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Britons are using social media to make more complaints but say companies are turning a deaf ear to them, according to a survey.

More than a quarter of consumers (26 per cent) say they complain more now that they can use social media to communicate with companies, the poll found.

But 83 per cent of them report being unhappy with the response they received, while 17.5 per cent say they did not get a reply at all.

The survey of 2,000 French and British consumers found those in the UK use social media to complain mostly about retailers (21 per cent) and banks (19 per cent), while 33 per cent of those in Northern Ireland criticised telecoms companies and 18 per cent of the Welsh complained about local government.

Scots were most likely to find fault with gas companies (15 per cent) and 14 per cent of those in the South East criticised train companies.

Almost a quarter of consumers (22 per cent) said they used social media to get a quicker response, but four out of five consumers (81 per cent) said they did not get an acceptable answer to their questions.

Dee Roche of call centre software provider Eptica said: “Customers are embracing social media for customer service but the vast majority of companies are deaf to what they are saying.

“Our research uncovered a real desire by consumers to use the speed and immediacy of social media to interact with companies only to be ignored.”